Family Rules with Teenagers
Having experienced the parenting process with three children, I know the challenges and joys that come with the territory! An interesting column recently crossed my desk, so I decided to share some of the points with you. As the title implies, the emphasis is on setting rules.
Basic family rules help everyone get along, and they teach kids skills they'll need as they mature. Family rules evolve as children grow - in some ways they get simpler and in others, more complex. Because teenagers are so capable in general, parents don't have to spell out everything. On the other hand, because they are so capable, they are able to experience a much broader range of activities and need a few more rules (for the time being).
Elizabeth Crary, parent educator and author of STAR Parenting Tales and Tools, suggests these basic rules for teenagers:
- 1) Treat people and property with respect - No hurting, threatening, name-calling, swearing, or uncomfortable teasing. Ask permission before using (clothing, tools) or borrowing (money, car) something that belongs to someone else. When you use others' property, return it in good shape or if you visit a business, restaurant, park, movie theater, etc., don't deface the property. Tell parents where you are or where you want to go. Come home at the agreed-upon time.
- 2) Ask for what you want. Accept "no" gracefully - No hinting, whining, pouting, complaining, or screaming.
- 3) Problem-solve differences with people - Find solutions that meet everyone's needs.
- 4) Clean up your own messes - mop up spills. Return dirty dishes to the kitchen and wash them or load them in the dishwasher. Do laundry; hang up clothes. Take out the trash. Leave common areas (living room, dining room, bathrooms, garage, yard) neat after use.
- 5) Respect sleep and work schedules - No incoming calls/texts between 11 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. If people are working, ask if it is an okay time to interrupt. Get enough sleep and nutritious food to be pleasant and healthy. Respect parents' sleep and work schedules.
- 6) Maintain supplies and equipment list. If you use nearly the last of something, put it on the shopping list. Check with the cook before opening the last can/box of something. If you break something, fix it or let others know about it.
- 7) Contribute to the family. Do chores promptly and competently. Offer to help when you see ways to do so.
- 8) Coordinate schedules regularly. Let the cook know if you will not be eating dinner at home. Arrange to get school supplies, etc., ahead of the need - don't wait till the last minute. Negotiate rides or car use before you need it.
- 9) Maintain a safe and drug-free home. Report to a parent things that need repair or are unsafe. No alcohol or drugs (except prescriptions) on the property. Maintain family safety and privacy on the internet.
- 10) Be responsible for your guests' actions. Be sure your guests honor family rules. If they don't, ask an adult for help or ask them to leave.
- · Don't forget to call our office to sign up for "Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes". The series will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 1200 W. Houston St., Sulphur Springs. Dates are February 26, 28, March 5, 7, and 12. Diabetes management and nutrition topics will be covered in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Refreshments will be served at each session. When you call to reserve a seat, please indicate whether you want to attend the 1:30 p.m. or the 6:00 p.m. sessions. Cost for the series is $20, payable at the first session.
- · "Parenting Connections" series is being offered April 22 and 29. Four topics will be covered: Child Growth & Development, Parent-Child Communication, Positive Discipline, and Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem. Cost for the series is $10, payable at the first session, but interested individuals must call to reserve a seat. Please indicate your preference of morning, afternoon, or early evening session. This series will be offered at the Extension Office.
- · A multi-county food preservation workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m. Get your gardens ready and stay tuned for more information!
You cannot raise a man up by calling him down - William Boetcker
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone